Beach Read – Life with My Sister Madonna

As  Madge celebrates the big 50 this month, her brother Christopher has unveiled his book, Life with My Sister Madonna.  And he probably won’t be going to her big party!

He  always looked up to her growing up,  and had been her best friend up until recently. Christopher worked closely with Madonna over the past 30 years – he was the stage designer on two of her tours. Helped her decorate her house. The falling out wasn’t on Madonna’s end or Christopher’s, but rather Madonna’s husband Guy Ritchie. Gay Actor Rupert Everett said Ritchie is “uncomfortable around queens.”

It’s a pretty extraordinary tale of what it’s like growing up and being close to one of the most famous female entertainers in the world. It’s a voyeuristic view, one sided, naturally. But hey, if we all wrote a book about someone we were close to for 48 years, it would be pretty darn accurate. – It’s not a slanderous book – despite what the press or Madonna fans might be saying.

When she became famous, he tagged along, thrilled by the glamour. Yet however google-eyed or off his head he may have been, Christopher is clearly a shrewd observer. He points out that Sean Penn, Madonna’s first husband, was ‘a dead ringer for our father’. Later on, he claims that Madonna was initially attracted to Guy Ritchie – whom he plainly detests – because he reminded her of Penn.

Not surprisingly, the absurdly macho Penn and the oscillatingly camp Ciccone do not hit it off. Penn, however, is determined to forge a bond and there’s a very funny scene where he persuades Ciccone to become his blood-brother – he cuts their thumbs and presses them together. Six years later, Penn comes up to Ciccone at a party and asks nervously, ‘You don’t have AIDS, do you?’ Ciccone is not amused. ‘I give him an unprintable answer, then walk away.’

What’s fascinating about Life with My Sister Madonna is the way in which she toys with her brother, alternately leaning on him, and then shoving him aside. Always, though, he comes back for more. Chistopher says, “she treats me as if I am nothing other than a serf paid to decorate her house.” He writes about how cheap Madonna is, especially in light of how much money she makes. In 2001, Richie and Madonnas worth were said to be worth $260 million. And Madonna had the highest female annual income in Britain of $43.8 million dollars. Ciccone writes that Madonna perpetually underpaid him, disputed payments and blackmailed him over money. For example, he would not get paid unless he took Kabbalah classes with her. She always passive – agressive.

A compelling read – whether you like Madonna or not. It’s a glimpse of what goes on in the real-life  of a celebrity “behind the curtain.”

BUY IT  AT AMAZON  Life with My Sister Madonna 

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